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    BardGuy

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    Default [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Hi folks!
    While I'm quite familiar with D&D rules, I don't own (nor I currently have access to) ToB.
    I'm curious to know the general rules about learning and using martial maneuvers, since I'd like to add a similar concept to my own homebrew.
    I tried to browse SRD, but it looks that it is not core d20 content.

    Anyone can give me a brief explanation, and a couple of examples?

    Thanks a lot, Pasko
    Quote Originally Posted by That Schubert Guy What Wrote that Vampire Article
    In the D&D game, so much of a character’s identity is expressed by the powers that character can use.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    There are excerpts from the book up at the Wizards site, including the warblade class. You can also download all the maneuvers in the book in a printable format.

    Essentially: maneuvers are a way to give melee characters abilities more powerful than those granted by feats, which are usable every round, but more available than spells, which occupy the other end of the power curve. A manuever is some ability more powerful than a simple attack or trip or bull rush or the like, but not so much more powerful that it needs to be rationed on a per-day basis. Instead you start each combat with your full complement of maneuvers, and have some way to regain ones you use in combat, but don't have the option of just spamming the same one over and over on each round.

    They follow a progression much like spells - divided in to nine levels, initiators (maneuver-using classes; you initiate a maneuver, as you cast a spell or manifest a power) get access to those levels at the rate a wizard gets access to spell levels. At each class level you have a certain maximum manuever level you can learn, and a certain number of manuevers known (and can swap out old manuevers for new ones here and there as you progress); you also have a number of maneuvers you can ready, which means they're available to use in combat. The idea is that you have a pool of maneuvers you keep updating as you level to keep pace with your power, and each day have a few of these that you think you'll need (you can change them with five minutes' work, or faster with feats). It's like being a psion or sorcerer with a recharge magic variant instead of limited power points or spell slots.

    Maneuvers do all sorts of things. Really, you need to read through them if you want to use them, just like with spells. Generally though they'll do something like provide extra damage, or allow the use of a tactical option with a bonus. One "discipline" aimed at the paladin-like class in the book lets you heal yourself and allies. The monk-like class has two supernatural disciplines, one of which is all about fast movement and fire-based attacks, the other of which is about stealth and lets you do various things like hide in shadows and teleport about the place. The others are more mundane and focus on attacking hard, or well, or carefully, etc. For example, the Iron Heart discipline is all about superlative swordsmanship and includes one line of damage-boosting maneuvers and another that let you attack multiple enemies at once. The Diamond Mind discipline is all about precise strikes and lets you do thinks like replacing your weapon damage with a concentration check and modifiers, which can be used to make one-handed weapons more competitive at high levels. Setting Sun is all about trips and throws and is essentially judo.
    Last edited by kamikasei; 2009-11-25 at 06:02 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    There are excerpts from the book up at the Wizards site, including the warblade class. You can also download all the maneuvers in the book in a printable format.
    OOOHHH that's good news! Links are always useful! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    Essentially: maneuvers are ...
    Encounter powers? :)
    I see why ToB is called 4.0 alpha.

    Thanks a lot, that was exactly the information I was looking for.

    Bye, Pasko
    Quote Originally Posted by That Schubert Guy What Wrote that Vampire Article
    In the D&D game, so much of a character’s identity is expressed by the powers that character can use.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by pasko77 View Post
    Encounter powers? :)
    Kind of - but you can regain them during the encounter. For example, a warblade can regain all his maneuvers by a) spending a swift action in conjunction with a normal (non-maneuver) attack, or b) flourishing his sword without attacking. This means he could in theory attack every single round of a combat, alternating between manuever-regular-maneuver-regular, and be using the same maneuver on ever second round (though it's unlikely he'd do so - better to use up your maneuvers one after another and then refresh if the combat is still going on. Depends on what you have readied and how the fight goes, though, of course).

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    Kind of - but you can regain them during the encounter. For example, a warblade can regain all his maneuvers by a) spending a swift action in conjunction with a normal (non-maneuver) attack, or b) flourishing his sword without attacking. This means he could in theory attack every single round of a combat, alternating between manuever-regular-maneuver-regular, and be using the same maneuver on ever second round (though it's unlikely he'd do so - better to use up your maneuvers one after another and then refresh if the combat is still going on. Depends on what you have readied and how the fight goes, though, of course).
    For comparison, the swordsage (improved monk) gets access to way more schools of manouvers and manouvers known but must take a full-round action to regain one.

    The crusader (improved paladin) basically has a "deck" of manouvers which he draws randomly from. His deck automatically refreshes and shuffles when it runs out of cards.



    Manouvers are divided into Strikes (attacks), Boosts (swift action 1-round buffs) and Counters (immediate action effects)

    There are also stances, which are always-on but limited in number and counted separately from your manouvers. They can be switched between as a swift action.

    One of the ToB classes has a capstone which lets them use two stances at once, another can use two boosts.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2009-11-25 at 06:45 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    For comparison, the swordsage (improved monk) gets access to way more schools of manouvers and manouvers known but must take a full-round action to regain one.
    Unless he takes Adaptive Style, in which case he can spend a full-round action to repick his maneuvers, which also auto-readies them.

    And, like Natural Spell, no Swordsage skips Adaptive Style.
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Unless he takes Adaptive Style, in which case he can spend a full-round action to repick his maneuvers, which also auto-readies them.

    And, like Natural Spell, no Swordsage skips Adaptive Style.
    I have never seen a swordsage pick Natural Spell myself.
    Silly joke, but I just felt it had to be done.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    Essentially: maneuvers are a way to give melee characters abilities more powerful than those granted by feats,

    Oh, really?

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Draken View Post
    I have never seen a swordsage pick Natural Spell myself.
    You're obviously playing with the wrong group, then.

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    Is +2 damage for a -1 penalty to attack rolls stronger than +1d6 damage?

    (No. They're about equal.)

    Power Attack is only particularly awesome when you stack on three more feats.
    Last edited by Yuki Akuma; 2009-11-25 at 08:15 AM.
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Unless he takes Adaptive Style, in which case he can spend a full-round action to repick his maneuvers, which also auto-readies them.

    And, like Natural Spell, no Swordsage skips Adaptive Style.
    Yes, it is straightforward. And since I'm banning Natural Spell... :)

    Anyway, I was thinking of Warhammer's wardancers' dances.
    For who is not familiar with those: they have 4 different "maneuvers", they can use them at will, but never twice on a row the same. Therefore they can swap between the two most useful ones at their disposal.

    Does the "improved paladin" retain any of the paladin powers/spellcasting?
    I think the warblade should interely overwrite the fighter entry, and I presume so also for the swordsage.
    Quote Originally Posted by That Schubert Guy What Wrote that Vampire Article
    In the D&D game, so much of a character’s identity is expressed by the powers that character can use.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    Yes, there are counterexamples. I was trying to speak in terms of general principles. In general, mundane melee characters have options that are usable every round. Casters are limited on a per-day basis. Spells are generally far more powerful individually than mundane combat options. Maneuvers are supposed to fall between these two extremes, leaning toward the mundane side of low power and high availability.

    Quote Originally Posted by pasko77 View Post
    Does the "improved paladin" retain any of the paladin powers/spellcasting?
    Nope. They have their own abilities mostly built around tanking (they can delay damage they take, use it to power themselves up, and then heal it away before it gets deducted from their actual HP), and maneuvers, including access to an exclusive discipline that includes healing and alignment-based effects and another (not exclusive) that lets them give bonuses to allies. Notably, they lack a special mount.

    Quote Originally Posted by pasko77 View Post
    I think the warblade should interely overwrite the fighter entry, and I presume so also for the swordsage.
    Pretty much, yeah. Core melee aren't totally obsoleted by ToB but if you're not doing careful optimization work you're going to be better off just picking up a warblade than a fighter; swordsage is pretty much uniformly superior to monk; and crusader has both advantages and disadvantages relative to paladin though in optimization terms is probably stronger (charge cheese aside).
    Last edited by kamikasei; 2009-11-25 at 08:50 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What are maneuvers?

    Hey, don't forget the PrCs in Tome of Battle.

    There's a PrC for dwarves which basically turns you into an Earthbender, a PrC which lets you throw anything and have it return to your hand instantly (while treating your thrown attacks as melee attacks for all purposes), a PrC which gives you the shifter's Shifting racial ability, an elf who channels the techniques of ancient warriors, a phoenix-styled arcane/martial dual-progression who can make himself explode then resurrect, a divine/martial dual-progression knight of Wee Jas who can sneak in heavy armour, a monk with powers over light and darkness (including positive/negative energy and fire/cold attacks)...

    I really recommend picking the book up.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2009-11-25 at 12:00 PM.

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